IMDb > Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
Letter from an Unknown Woman
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Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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Letter from an Unknown Woman -- Trailer for this love story


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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Howard Koch (screenplay)
Stefan Zweig (story)
View company contact information for Letter from an Unknown Woman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 September 1948 (Sweden) See more »
A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Vienna at its most romantic. See more (57 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Fontaine ... Lisa Berndle

Louis Jourdan ... Stefan Brand

Mady Christians ... Frau Berndle
Marcel Journet ... Johann Stauffer
Art Smith ... John
Carol Yorke ... Marie

Howard Freeman ... Herr Kastner
John Good ... Lt. Leopold von Kaltnegger
Leo B. Pessin ... Stefan Jr.
Erskine Sanford ... Porter
Otto Waldis ... Concierge
Sonja Bryden ... Frau Spitzer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patricia Alphin ... Pretty (uncredited)
Harry Anderson ... (uncredited)
Edit Angold ... Middle-Aged Woman (uncredited)
Joe Ardao ... Small man (uncredited)
Lois Austin ... Elderly Woman (uncredited)
Polly Bailey ... Passenger (uncredited)
John T. Bambury ... Midget (uncredited)
George Blagoi ... (uncredited)

Betty Blythe ... Frau Kohner (uncredited)
Walter Bonn ... Col. Kohner (uncredited)
Sven Hugo Borg ... Mover (uncredited)
Roy Bross ... Porter (uncredited)
Robert W. Brown ... 1st Officer (uncredited)
Paul E. Burns ... Concierge (uncredited)
Douglas Carter ... (uncredited)
Donald Chaffin ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Gordon B. Clarke ... Street Singer (uncredited)

Edmund Cobb ... Carriage Driver (uncredited)
Tom Costello ... Musician (uncredited)
Ashley Cowan ... Callow Youth (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Large Woman Exiting Spitzer's (uncredited)
Watson Downs ... Conductor (uncredited)
Tay Dunn ... Young Officer (uncredited)
Al Eben ... Waiter (uncredited)
John Elliott ... Flower Vendor (uncredited)
Edwin Fowler ... Dancing Master (uncredited)
Curt Furburg ... Butler (uncredited)
Lorraine Gale ... Girlfriend (uncredited)

Joe Garcio ... Collector (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Inquisitive Man at Train Depot (uncredited)
Jack George ... Opera Critic (uncredited)
Lisa Golm ... Musician (uncredited)
Roy Gordon ... Elderly Man in Uniform (uncredited)
William Gould ... Bürgermeister (uncredited)
Ilka Grüning ... Ticket-Taker (uncredited)
William Hall ... Mover (uncredited)
Ramsay Hill ... Col. Steindorf (uncredited)
Edna Holland ... Nun (uncredited)
Mauritz Hugo ... Frau Spitzer's Patron (uncredited)
Doretta Johnson ... Girlfriend (uncredited)
Joseph Kamaryt ... Bavarian Mountaineer (uncredited)

Elizabeth Kerr ... (uncredited)
Rex Lease ... Station Attendant (uncredited)
William A. Lee ... Mover (uncredited)
Arthur Lovejoy ... Footman (uncredited)

Celia Lovsky ... Flower Vendor (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Café Customer (uncredited)
John C. McCallum ... Store Helper (uncredited)
Betty McDonough ... (uncredited)

Frank McLure ... Concert Footman (uncredited)
Hal Melone ... Waiter (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... Carriage Driver (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Man on Streetcar (uncredited)
Kay Morley ... Daughter (uncredited)
Leo Mostovoy ... Older Man at Concert (uncredited)
Fred Nurney ... Officer on Street (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Concert Footman (uncredited)
Blanche Obronska ... Young Woman (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Baron's Second (uncredited)
Joe Ploski ... Moving Man (uncredited)
Jean Ransome ... Maid (uncredited)
Peggy Remington ... (uncredited)
Bruce Riley ... Officer (uncredited)
Paul Rochin ... Bavarian Man (uncredited)
Countess Elektra Rozanska ... Elegant Lady (uncredited)
Shimen Ruskin ... Stefan's Friend at Café (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller ... Stefan's Second (uncredited)
Bill Schroff ... Waiter (uncredited)
Irene Seidner ... Frau Mombert (uncredited)
Jamesson Shade ... Musician (uncredited)
Lester Sharpe ... Critic (uncredited)
Guy L. Shaw ... Café Patron (uncredited)
Walter Soderling ... Panorama Operator (uncredited)
Pietro Sosso ... Coachman (uncredited)
Helen Spring ... Middle-Aged Woman (uncredited)
Lotte Stein ... Musician (uncredited)
Hermine Sterler ... Mother Superior (uncredited)

Cy Stevens ... Man (uncredited)
Diane Stewart ... Girlfriend (uncredited)
Vera Stokes ... Girlfriend (uncredited)
Frieda Stoll ... Burgermeister's Wife (uncredited)
Paul Peter Szemere ... Mover (uncredited)
William Trenk ... Fritzel (uncredited)
Lisl Valetti ... Musician (uncredited)

Roland Varno ... Stefan's Second (uncredited)
Tyra Vaughn ... Ballet Dancer (uncredited)
William Vedder ... Street Singer (uncredited)
Erich von Schilling ... Usher (uncredited)
Max Willenz ... Baggage Man (uncredited)
Gabrielle Windsor ... Ballet Girl (uncredited)
Herbert Winters ... Student (uncredited)
June Wood ... Cashier (uncredited)
Judith Woodbury ... Model (uncredited)
Jack Worth ... Officer (uncredited)
Mary Worth ... Musician (uncredited)

Directed by
Max Ophüls  (as Max Opuls)
Writing credits
Howard Koch (screenplay)

Stefan Zweig (story)

Max Ophüls  uncredited

Produced by
John Houseman .... producer
Nate Blumberg .... producer (uncredited)
William Dozier .... executive producer (uncredited)
Joan Fontaine .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Daniele Amfitheatrof 
Cinematography by
Franz Planer (director of photography) (as Frank Planer)
Film Editing by
Ted J. Kent 
Art Direction by
Alexander Golitzen 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Ruby R. Levitt (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (gowns)
Makeup Department
Carmen Dirigo .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Lou LaCava .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
E. Dobbs .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Sherwood .... assistant director (as John F. Sherwood)
Mickey Bennett .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Les Warner .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Wally Kirkpatrick .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Glenn E. Anderson .... sound (as Glenn F. Anderson)
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Bert Anderson .... still photographer (uncredited)
Tex Bellah .... best boy (uncredited)
Walter Bluemel .... camera operator (uncredited)
Punk Smith .... key grip (uncredited)
Roland Smith .... grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Virginia Tutwiler .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
David Tamkin .... orchestrator
Other crew
William Dozier .... presenter
Paul Elbogen .... technical adviser
John Hambleton .... coordinator of production
David O. Selznick .... Louis Jordan by arrangement with
Adele Cannon .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
86 min | Finland:75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:Atp | Finland:K-16 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Sweden:Btl | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (re-rating) (2009) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: #12855) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Finnish censorship visa # 030408.See more »
Stefan Brand:Promise me something.
Lisa Berndl:Anything.
Stefan Brand:And I don't even know where you live. Promise me you won't vanish.
Lisa Berndl:I won't be the one who vanishes.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Only Yesterday (1933)See more »
Un sospiroSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
38 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
Vienna at its most romantic., 27 April 2004
Author: dbdumonteil

An admirable scene sums up the whole movie:Stefan and Liza are aboard a "train" and they "travel".It's actually a fixed train,and some kind of stagehand forwards a chocolate box scenery :Venice ,Switzerland... In the real world ,trains are ominous messengers of death and despair:it's a train which takes Stefan away after their affair,a train which takes the young boy to his death.

Stefan (Jourdan)lives his selfish life without seeing anything.Ophuls(spelled Opuls in the cast and credits) shows him as a handsome nice young man,but if you look with care,you'll notice it's always Liza(Fontaine)who's looking at him with love.Jourdan seems to care but actually he knows so many women that he acts as if he's in a play:Liza's admiration means nothing to him who is a ladykiller-see the scene when Liza comes back from the station- and a celebrated musician adulated by the crowds.Liza is the romantic woman,with a zest of touch of Madame Bovary thrown in -it's not a coincidence if Minnelli chose Jourdan as Madame Bovary's lover in his eponymous movie the very same year-For her,there must be only one love ,and she's prepared to give it all.

Joan Fontaine had perhaps never been so good as here.Her whole life ,as she writes her letter (the movie is a flashback ) could have been written in the past conditional.Main influence is certainly that of John Stahl and his "only yesterday" (1933)in which Margaret Sullavan wrote John Boles such a letter.Even the young boy is present in both movies.The last page of the letter,ink-stained (or tear-stained?)takes the audience to a peak of emotion.The final predates the ending of Ophuls's "Madame de" (1953),and the scene on the "train" ,an imitation of life ,the big circus of "Lola Montes" (1955)

This is probably Louis Jourdan's best part as well.A French actor,he was never that much popular in his native country ,and he found his best parts in the US ,be it artistically (Ophuls ,Hitchcock and Minnelli) or commercially (Octopussy) speaking.

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Lisa's Devotion / Obsession viaggio1
The Duel- SPOILERS danashley
Stefan's character (spoiler) katu1936
Kubrick favorite Ophuls' most Kubrick like film NYHeraldTribune
How Romance-y Is It? mrsamburgess
Rating... ainfean
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